Monday, October 18, 2010

Kissed by an Angel...

Writing has always been somewhat therapeutic for me...I remember my journal as my very best friend and confidant during high school....years later, typing has somewhat replaced the trusty old diary..and blogging has become a new and dear friend to me.
I've been meaning to write about the following for some time now.
For a mother, seeing your baby for the first time is monumental. You've dreamed about it...you've pictured it in your mind...you've waited, and waited and waited. Any mother will tell you that a newborn baby looks nothing like the glossy magazine ads you are bombarded with during pregnancy. Tiny heads are "misshapen"...skin is dotted with baby acne....
The first thing I remember about my beautiful son was his cleft chin. His quivering little body...his deep eyes. His purple nose. Pediatricians exclaimed that his tiny face must have scraped my pelvic bone during his descent into the world. All we knew was that he was finally here; healthy, strong, and beautiful.
Photobucket
I nursed W nonstop during his first weeks. I watched his little nose wiggle up and down, like a rabbit, as he suckled. This little nose became red. A very deep red. It seemed to grow in size....unlike any kind of bruise.
Dermatologists told us that Wesley has a hemangioma, a very common type of benign tumor, that looks like a deep red build up of blood vessels. Doctors are unsure what causes them, and therefore know of no way to prevent them. These "strawberry marks" disappear on their own over the course of a few years, and generally need no medical treatment....unless they are close to any mucous membranes, such as the nose or eyes.
Photobucket
1 month old
Hemangiomas grow at a fast rate during the first 6 months of life. Doctors were afraid that this growth would prevent cartiledge in W's nose from forming correctly...his entire nose could "collapse"...and major reconstructive surgery would be needed. It could also have grown into his eyes.
Reluctantly, W was put on medications to prevent growth of the hemangioma. He gained much weight, and drooled nonstop. We traveled over an hour to see a pediatric dermatologist ,who I struggled to trust,once a week. He spent a weekend in the hospital. I never left the room once, and convinced the night nurse to let us cosleep.
Photobucket
3 months old
W stands out in a crowd, and once somebody meets him, they rarely forget his face....the baby with the red nose. I grow weary of well-intentioned (or just nosy) people asking me "what is wrong with his nose?" Sometimes, people can be cruel. I constantly hear commenting...I notice the stares we get. At Christmas, I grow tiresome of the rudolph jokes....people have exclaimed that "they hope we will get it removed"...worst of all, a stranger has actually accused me of hitting him in the face, thus causing the redness.
Photobucket
Halloween, 2009....matching red noses...
Maybe this seems petty....after all, our baby is healthy, sweet, and strong! Why should I care what anyone thinks or says? Ah, to an extent I don't. To an extent, we all don't. But to say that I go through life without a single care for what others think of me would be a lie. And I am not ashamed to admit it.
A few years back, heavy makeup was my best friend. As an acne sufferer, I did meticulous spackle jobs on my face every morning. During my short career as a commercial model, I hated showing up to a shoot without makeup on. I hid behind powder, blush, and eyeliner daily. Photos looked beautiful....but how much of them were really me? Outter beauty is such a facade...anyone can look fantastic in the right lighting and with a skilled photographer.
Photobucket
2007
Time has passed...dermatologists have offered a laser treatment to prematurely reduce the redness on W's nose. Apparently, this is a popular choice for parents in our situation. "Will it hurt?", I ask. "Like rubberbands snapping against the face", the doctor replies. A laser in a one-year olds face? Just to "correct" his appearance? But, this is my baby. This is him! Why should he be altered? I suppose he wasn't meant to look like everybody else. This is his spirit.
Photobucket
11 months old
W's nose will most likely be flesh toned by the time he is school age. People still comment, of course. Children ask questions, as they naturally will. A dear friend of mine once told a child that W was "kissed by an angel that wore red lipstick." This remains my favorite response for children and adults alike.
Photobucket
Present day, 14 months old (hallway fashion show...!)

Photobucket
This past weekend...
I haven't worn skin powder in months. I feel fresh, confident, and revived. I feel beautiful and important...even though a comb rarely touches my head these days, much less a makeup brush! This whole experience has been a lesson learned; and an important one....My son inspires me in everything I do, whether he knows it yet or not. Thank you for reading!
Photobucket
No makeup. Just skin.

58 comments:

  1. What a wonderful,courageous post! When Lydia was born and needed a trach tube to breathe etc... people would say, "well at least she is cute". Part of me would want to scream. Blessings to your momma heart! Most days are wonderful, some days are hard but I wouldn't change a thing. I bet you feel the same. love, tracie

    ReplyDelete
  2. When my daughter was born, it was under some horrendous circumstances. She was delivered by a crash c section and after she was born 12 hours later when I was finally able to meet her) I noticed these red marks on her face, between her eyes, and it looked like a thumbprint bruise on her stomach. the red spot between her eyes I hoped was like mine, just showed up for a few hours then faded away. It almost looked like a bhindi. But the one on her stomach looked like the doctor dug his thumb into her stomach as he delivered her. Well, the one on her forehead turned out to be a stork bite, but the one on her stomach is the same as your sons. It grew and grew and part of me was shocked at what it looked like. Anytime someone would see it, and it isn't as obvious as your sons, they would stare, ask why I hadn't had it removed or anything like that. you know, honestly, I love it. It's a part of her, the way she was made and quite frankly I am mournful of the day it goes away. I had two of them on the tops of my legs and they finally went away when I was 8? Something like that. M's is still there at 5. Still the same size and shape. Her ped (who thank god I adore) says it is taking a awhile to go away but as long as it isn't bothering her wearing clothes then to leave it alone. M loves it, and she says she wouldn't be her with out.

    I realize that having one on your stomach is much different than having one right on your nose. But I think your son is beautiful. People can just be dumb and insensitive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You and your son are both beautiful.... anyone should be able to see that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow that is an awesome post xx I love the 'kissed by an angel' comment. Your journey throug this made me think of something my mum always said to me, our children choose us for a reason, or many. He is a gorgeous little boy :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a touching, honest, and heartfelt post...and incredibly beautiful! You are both beautiful, and little W seems like such a happy baby on top of being totally cute :-) You are an inspiration. I am so glad I found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful post! Oh, W is so ADORABLE! I also have heard a Waldorf story for children with birthmarks, like W. The angel leads the child to walk over the rainbow bridge to begin his journey on earth and the angel bends down to kiss the child on the place where the birthmark is and says, "My kiss will leave a mark on you so that when you return, I will know how to recognize you." I love that story. We all have our birth-marks, some are moe prominent than others, and they serve to make us strong individuals. A big hug to W and to your family.
    xo Jules

    ReplyDelete
  7. We have one too. It is on Lyra's torso, it grew larger and darker, peaked at around 4. It is still with us slightly ( about 7.5 now), I believe it always will be. I had a traumatic entrance into motherhood, and because Lyra was so sick we had many scans and tests to make sure it wasn't in the way of vital organs. You've just reminded me that I should really post about our experience. I can still become furious with certain doctors if I let myself, this would probably be therapy for me and may help some other mama.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for this beautiful post! It really touched me. Even thought I'm not a mother, I'm studying to become a primary school teacher and I think it's so very important to give children the feeling that they are perfect and beautiful exactly the way they are.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The words that others have used to describe this post are words that I was also thinking as I read it...honest, wonderful, courageous, beautiful. W is a gorgeous baby and you are a gorgeous mama! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a great post! And you look like an 18 year-old with a clean face (that's a good thing!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Poor little guy! It looks like it's getting better all on its own though. And you are absolutely gorgeous - with or without makeup! :)

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I don't go to many concerts but these two we managed to get free tickets to. The concerts were to promote tourism to our local area (Gulf Shores, AL) after the oil spill in the Gulf. But they were indeed fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so beautiful my sweet friend it brought tears to my eyes thinking about how unkind people can be. Your beautiful son has truly been kissed by an angle and has been given into the care of a most beautiful mother, beauty of the soul and in appearance for what is inside of you radiates out.

    Have a most beautiful day. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. that is so sweet. you are such a loving mama, it is no wonder W chose you to do the job. i think you are doing all the right things being patient for his body to take care of itself on his own and just ignore the ignorant people around you. you rise above it and learn how to be a stronger mother and person so early on in parenthood - such an important life skill you learn and in turn will impart on your son. by the way, i've never seen a more adorable hemangioma on a baby! he is utterly handsome.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a beautiful story- your son is absolutely beautiful- healthy, happy- radiant smile that lights up his whole being! <3

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are amazing. Your son is amazing. He has incredibly soulful eyes and seems unabashedly happy.

    I think the Beast might have something similar. He's had a spot on his chin/neck since he was born. It got really dark and red for a while. Now it's faded some, but hasn't gone away. No one seems to know what it is. I'll have to bring this up with his doctor the next time we're there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just beautiful! A couple tears later... you are so brave!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, this is my favorite post yet of yours...written from the heart. Isn't it amazing what our children can teach us, if we listen?! You are both very beautiful. I love the "kissed by an angel" response.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So well said. Your words truly touched me.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Angel kisses, exactly!
    Baby C has a little one under her left breast.
    Thank you for sharing, one day your son will read this and know how much you love him. :)
    I recognize the longies!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love that little boy! He chose the right family when he came down from heaven. : ) I hope Nathan inspires me the same way you're inspired by W. <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for sharing such a personal and beautiful message today! W is indeed perfect. :)

    ~carrie~

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, this is such an amazingly beautiful post. My second-born son has a rare autoimmune disorder of the skin and I constantly have to reassure other parents that he is not contagious. We did not like any of the advice given by dermatologists and he is responding well to TCM.

    Your son is absolutely beautiful just the way he is (and so are you). Much love to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rebecca~I raised 2 dyslexic boys and was astounded by how insensitive people could be. Today they are both highly successful adults, despite the way they were sometimes treated. Their needs helped me grow as a parent and as a human being. They made me more aware of the needs of others, and oh so much more empathetic. Someday little W's nose will look like everyone elses, but he will still wear the angel's kiss. You will see it each and every time you look at him, and the lessons he taught you will never be lost. Warmest thoughts...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Rebecca - My daughter has taught me the same lesson W's has taught you about appearances. She was born with all kinds of skin alterations - most have cleared by now. She still has her stork bite - which was called her "poop light" (it would get really red when she pooped). Of course we stopped saying that when she turned two...Ella also has a movement disorder - I used to really care about what people thought, I think some days I still do. I would have avoided the discoloration and disorder if I could, for her sake and for awhile I would have done it for me. However like for you and yoru son it wasn't a choice. It was tough adjusting to these unexpected twists of motherhood - it hurt. The hospital stays was horrible. My heart ached for what "others" would say to her. Afraid that kids would brake her spirit, I vowed to instill a strong and happy self esteem in her so that her spirit could handle whatever comments came her way. Our children are better left to be who they are. I am so proud of your decision. You are a truly amazing Mama.
    Until we meet in person - Namaste!
    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wonderful and inspiring post! He truly is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh Rebecca, he is just the sweetest little thing. The looks he gives with those blue eyes, so soulful.
    Your families beauty shines forth, and it has nothing to do with appearances!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your choice to just wait as long as its not physically harmful to him. It is hard, when others look. I know anything that someone says or does to either of my two hits me hard because I know just how special they are. What a strong and inspiring mama you are. He's such a cutie, and it really does look like the strawberry mark is fading. I had a V shape on my forehead when I was a baby & it faded with time just like his is. You are a beautiful mama... love how your baby has inspired you. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lovely post! I'm glad I came across your blog! Thanks for sharing your story here! Your little boy is so precious!

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a beautiful, brave and heart felt post.
    I LOVE your explanation of "angel kisses"...how delightful! You have a beautiful family...I'm so happy you blog and some of that beauty is shared with us all!
    xo maureen

    ReplyDelete
  30. And you are both so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your wisdom is all out of proportion to your years.

    What a lucky, lucky, beautiful boy, to have such a flippin' great mom, right by his side.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Beautiful words and beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that child is a great gift on so many levels.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It is truly amazing how our children coupled with the universe teach us beautiful lessons... my daughter is 10 now - but she has taught me the same lessons about appearance that your beautiful little W has taught you....She was born with skin afflictions on her face and over the years they have cleared, all but one... in the middle of her forhead, and it is very faint.Mostly only shows up when she cries or feels strongly about something. Everyone said "what a shame, she could have been so beautiful" but we felt she was... it is amazing as mothers our ability to "see" our own child's "aura"-- and that is what makes them all gorgeous! what a lovely and reflective mama you are, and because your handsome W knew he needed that - he chose you two to be his mama and Papa.... what an amazing gift... thanks for sharing you beautiful story of acceptance and love knowing no bounds...
    peace and light

    ReplyDelete
  34. Both of my children have one of these, they both used to have two. When my son was born I looked it up on the internet and its a 'Strawberry' or 'Stork Bite.' Anyway, the doctor and my mother told me it would disapper when my son was 6 months and would only be visable when he got mad. Yea right lol. My son still has his and so does my daughter, they have them in the same place and when they where born, both had it on the same eye lid. My daughters isnt as big as her brothers any more, but I've grown to love their twin markings.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You two are angels. I loved your post; it should be broadcast loud and clear everywhere. You put your feelings into words so beautifully. My son sometimes looks "typical" but doesn't act like "typically". I can relate to your feelings and descriptions of people's comments. I often wonder if they ever think about how they would feel if someone did the same to them? I do wish people would come more from a place of support which may mean being quiet! W is amazing and such a lucky little boy to have such a wise momma. You two are both beautiful on the outside and the inside!

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is so loving, thoughtful, and inspiring. I love your friend's words...."kissed by an angel wearing lipstick" and the fact that you are happy with you own appearance as well, your own beauty and spirit, which shine, like your son's, unspackled face, uncombed hair, and all. love, Beth

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello Rebecca- I've only been following for a short time, but in all the photo's I've seen here I've only seen a beautiful Mum, and a gorgeous baby with brilliant eyes and an amazing smile. It's your photos and words that keep me coming back. From one whose heart aches for a child that will never come, you both are beautiful and shame on anyone who would question either of you. We should all be so blessed. (your post has me in tears) take care.

    ReplyDelete
  38. how gorgeous you both look, how alive, how fresh faced and joyful, how full of love and wonder, how very inspiring
    my now 16 yo was born with a mark very similar on his side, we were told the blood that had collected there, would slowly blend back into the body and the mark would fade which it did by the time he was around 7, it is still there but very faint.
    sending love and much respect xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Awww...such a sweet post! And i like your confidence! Your baby's adorable.. Please, yes, dont go for any of those laser treatments... He is just a baby still. And he looks so happy! It doesnt itch does it?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Your wee one is super cute! Tell other people top get over it, he's fantastic! I hear ya on the acne and makeup wearing thing! I am a heavy acne sufferer, though not so much anymore---- I used to wear so much makeup it was sick, I was so embarresed, but kids changed that! I'm a mama now and have little time (or money) for expensive makeup! Everyone loves me just the same ;)

    ~Samantha

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for sharing the beauty that is your family. So full of wisdom, honesty, and unconditional love. Clearly, you have *all* been kissed by an angel, for you are truly blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you so much for sharing! I just found your blog (maybe through Rockin' Granola?) and really appreciate your honesty. My 15 month old has a large patch of eczema that covers most of his left cheek, and we get comments constantly too. We're trying to heal it through diet instead of using steroid cream or other prescription treatments, and it is tiring to argue with family and friends about why we'd rather fix what's causing the eczema than just slap some chemicals on his face. Stories like this help me so much!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Your son is gorgeous. He has the most beautiful smile and such wide, expressive, lovely eyes. It's a shame that anyone would miss those features.

    People are drawn to being harsh and critical it seems, but what matters is that your son has a loving, supportive home for a strong foundation in life. Such a blessing for him.

    I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thankyou for sharing! My dear school friend also had a hemangioma and as a young child (in the early 80s) underwent many painful surgeries to have it "corrected". It covered her face and she still shows signs of it today and has always had to deal with peoples stares and questions.
    Your son is gorgeous and I love the "Kissed by an angel" explanation too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm a newbie to your blog and just had a grand old cry after seeing you dressed up with a red nose like your son. Now if that isn't selfless~ness I don't know what is. Really beautiful like you both. Isn't it amazing what children can teach us...and it has only just begun for you. It seems like you are going to absorb everything you can. Check out Mimi Doe if you haven't already.
    Peace~

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your son is precious and beautiful, just as you are!

    ReplyDelete
  47. He is just beautiful, and perfect. We are adopting a little girl who has an eye condition and it causes her one eye to be opaque. That is the first thing everyone notices when I show them her photo. Funny, I don't even see it. I see her rosy cheeks and her red pouty lips. Why can't we look past the slight imperfections and look at the beauty in us all.

    ReplyDelete
  48. oh you put tear to my eyes.god bless you and your beautiful family, your son is a beauty, he is very special and his red kissed nose make him more special. people could be very cruel but remember that your son only needs his parent love and warm not others.

    your blog is lovely
    raquel

    ReplyDelete
  49. Your son is simply beautiful as are you!

    ReplyDelete
  50. What a beautiful boy you have, and what a fantastic blog post. To often blogging conceals the flaws and shows us only a veneer of life that is idealistic but unreal. I'm so pleased to have found your thoughtful blog, your writing is wonderful to read. I will now be an avid follower!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks for this wonderful, heartfelt post...You and your son are both beautiful...

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thank you for sharing ;)
    My daughters angelkiss under her eye is almost gone.
    You and your son are beautiful! The beauty is coming from the inside!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello Rebecca, I lived a great deal of time in the Miami fashion lifestyle, what you looked like, the clothes you wear the cars people drive. There are many still caught up in that but I one day just had enough, threw away my phone and totally disconnected. I haven't worn make up in about 8 years! and I've just decided that I'm not going to dye my hair anymore even if it is using a herbal dye - my little boy told me he also wanted grey hair that it was beautiful.

    Your son is just precious the way he is. Love goes way beyond that.

    Now I can even relate this to some of my animals, I have a horse with a big hole in the side of her face, but I don't notice it because she's my favorite horse and I just love her. I have some purebred dogs and my favorite pets are the scruffy ones from the street. It's not about the looks....

    I learnt a long long time ago never to worry about what people say.
    My mother-in-law has to put curlers in her hair, makeup and high shoes almost every day of her life even in her relaxed time at home. :( She's so self conscious.

    I'm also terrible at math, even basic math. I'm glad you found Waldorf as I did, it's a wonderful philosophy and good luck with your future waldorf training. I would also like to participate in some courses which is why we shall move back to the USA.

    A wonderful post! Keep smiling beautiful mama.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi. I came across your site by accident (or coincidence) looking for something else. I just wanted to say your son is beautiful and is very lucky to have such a wonderful mother! I am choked up. Thank you for reminding me about the beauty of a mother's unconditional love.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I was really touched to read your posts and also encouraged by the photos of your beautiful boy. My daughter, Isabella, was born with the 'perfect' face. At 2 weeks old, a tiny red pin prick mark appeared next to her eye, and it grew progressively during her first year- we got referred to the hospital and were informed that it is a hemangioma or strawberry mark. Because of its position and prominence on her face, many people pull faces and make comments, even in our earshot! Before this, I never knew how rude or insulting the general public could be. We have been told that it will shrink and fade, but she could still face an operation when she is older to correct the stretched skin around her eye. Thankfully it hasn't affected her vision and the prognosis is good- it does seem to be shrinking gradually. Seeing your photos of your son has given me hope that her hemangioma will shrink by a relatively early age, and I am pleased that you have had the courage to post your photos and diary online. I post pictures of my daughter everywhere, knowing that people will say the usual 'What's wrong with her eye?' or 'has she been boxing' etc, but to me she is the most beautiful girl in the world...I only wish people could see past a red mark on her face!! At least she will grow into a well-balanced, unbigoted individual who will have the knowledge to not stare and hurt people based on their physical appearance. Thank you for showing that our children are beautiful, no matter what other people may think.

    ReplyDelete
  56. My grandmother has a mark smack dab on her nose just like W. Sure, it's one of the first things you notice when you meet her, but her personality shines through and you very quickly forget about it. At one point in her young adulthood she looked into surgery, but was told it's too close to the bone to remove. So, shes lived with it all her 78 years and still going. It's still slightly darker than the rest of her skin and she does put a bit of her tinted moisturizer on it. Otherwise, I've never heard her complain or act embarrassed-in fact she is very confident and outgoing. Her mark hasn't prevented her from enjoying life-work, family, friends-she's a happy gal!
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  57. That baby is one of the cutest babies I've ever seen! Cute red nose and all! And who wouldn't fall in love with those precious eyes?! Momma, you did good. Best wishes to your and your little ham. <3

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you! I read and appreciate all feedback.. Thanks for stopping by!